Just doing a bit of poking around to get a sense of content analysis as a potential editorial topic to cover. Here are a few resources I found on the topic, along with a few quick thoughts on the matter.
I think the subhead from Forrester's Leslie Owens report, Text
Analytics takes business insight to new depths, sums up why text
analytics is a good thing extremely well:
Unexamined Content is a Wasted Opportunity.
Off and on over my years as editor, I've had a fair number of meetings with text analytics vendors (not counting IBM). These companies tried/continue to try to solve the problem of trying to extract meaning from unstructured content and present it in a useful way so that decisions can be made based on something other than gut feel, it looks like technologically at least, we're getting close to that becoming a reality. (I also always enjoyed asking them for references. A look would always come over the CEO/Pres/Marketing guy's face and then a joke would be made, always some variation of "I could tell you, but I'd have to kill you." Yes, I get it. Intelligence agencies dig this kind of tool.) The technology is pretty cool stuff too as it has to deal with semantics and meaning either through some sort of semantic engine (trying to identify meaning) which is the approach Xerox took at one point (if memory of a years-gone meeting with a research scientists at Xerox PARC serves) or through brute force mathematic probability. OK, that's the extent of my technical "expertise" on the topic.
The uses of content/text analysis are potentially extremely good for companies:
- Improving decision-making
- Competitive analysis
- Figuring out what your customers are saying about you by searching your call logs, twitter, blogs, etc. (which will inform the two points just above)
- Matching structured and unstructured content to provide a 360 view (or as much a one as possible) into what is really going on in a company
- help to address the never-ending ediscovery issues. If you can limit the number of documents your corporate legal team needs to review, I don't know an exact figure, but the term "boat load" of savings springs to mind.
IBM offers tools to do this stuff.(question: Why call it content analysis, IBM, when everyone else calls the same stuff text analysis?)
Brooke Aker of Expert Systems wrote a short article for me recently, What Works: Is Semantic Intelligence the New Business Intelligence?
From the Apache UMI (an open source effort): Unstructured Information Management (UMI)applications are software systems that analyze large volumes of unstructured information in order to discover knowledge that is relevant to an end user. An example UIM application might ingest plain text and identify entities, such as persons, places, organizations; or relations, such as works-for or located-at.Text Analytics Small but growing market, according to IDC
In Business Intelligence Polishes Its Crystal Ball, Forrester analysts James G. Kobielus, Boris Evelson, Leslie Owens opine that advanced analytics (see definition at bottom of post), when combined with traditional business intelligence tools will allow/provide: predictive and prescriptive insight, unlock information in unstructured data, act on streaming information in real time, and discover patterns in non-modeled data.Advanced analytics (from Forrester): Any solution that supports the identification of meaningful patterns and correlations among variables in complex, structured and unstructured, historical and potential future data sets for the purposes of predicting future events and assessing the attractiveness of various courses of action. Advanced analytics typically incorporate such functionality as data mining, descriptive modeling, econometrics, forecasting, operations research, optimization, predictive modeling, simulation, statistics, and text analytics.